Many small businesses understand the importance of converting sales leads, but far too often, businesses don’t engage in an effective sales process. A shocking number of businesses fail to even follow up with potential customers who show an interest in their products. According to a study by the Harvard Business Review, 23% of businesses never followed up with web-generated sales leads. Another 24% took more than 24 hours to follow up with those leads. Nearly 50% of businesses in the study either didn’t follow up with web-generated sales leads or their sales reps took far too long to reach out.

A business offering quality products or services shouldn’t fail because of a flawed sales process. When it comes to following up with sales leads and potential customers, there are a few best practices to follow. We spoke to experienced marketers and salespeople to learn how to follow up on sales leads, and why you should follow up on sales leads to maximize conversions.

Respond to online sales leads promptly.

According to the HBR study, firms that followed up on sales leads within an hour of getting them were seven times as likely to qualify the lead than companies that waited

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